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Subject: Another endgame condition rss

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Don Crowe
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Power Grid is a great game with lots of tension and surprisingly
more catchup possibilities than are first apparent. For example,
I've succesfully moved from a high connection cost area or being
cutoff in the Step 1 by leapfrogging into a lower connection area
which also set me up for a strong Step 2. And by watching
positioning and dollars.

However, I've seen, as have others, how destructive it is to another's
chances when a player is able to completely deplete a resource.

The reason is that when it happens, it will be late in the game when a perfect storm develops :

1) Resource tracks will be at their lowest (in general). Supply
is most limited.
2) Players have largest capacity plants meaning :
High storage capacity - for example 3 coal for 7 power =
6 coal storage. Plenty of room to place resources.
High powering per resource - I.E. Being short on a resource
means huge loss of powering ability. Eg. one oil powering 7 is 7
less if no oil available.
3) Players have highest income and are best able to divert it to
empty a resource track.

Secondly, the player(s) affected (no resource available) can really
not recover it seems to me. By not being able to power, they have
a sudden & major drop in earnings. Even trying to correct in a later
Auction round by getting a different fuel burning plant means inefficiently using up money just to move sideways to get resources. It doesn't work. Alternatively, the opposition can continue a few rounds to continuously stay below you for 1st pick at resouces and there's nothing can be done : you can't reduce your position.

It is dramatic and the next stage is to wait more rounds while the opposition simply accumulates some paydays, then goes on a final game-ending building binge.

But the game actually ended before that. Note : Even if you had just a low powering plant affected, you've likely lost anyway because your combined powering ability is too low for that stage of the game.

It seems you could say for game ending conditions :

1) After trigger point of 17 (or 21 for two) connections is reached, then determine the winner & placings according to number of connected and powered plants.
2) Whenever a resource track is depleted, those with power plants requiring those resources are eliminated.

Sounds harsh I know. But it allows a gracious ending with clear knowledge of a game-ending strategy. If something truly ends a competition by making it unrecoverable, then it is what it is.
Also : It causes a secondary awareness of what to look for and how
to plan your game long in advance (although I believe you can get trapped where certain boards favour certain plants, have low re-fill rates of certain rsources etc.).

Comments ?
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Randall Bart
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powereef wrote:
Comments ?

Yeah, it's a great game.
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David desJardins
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powereef wrote:
The reason is that when it happens, it will be late in the game when a perfect storm develops :


You don't need a "perfect storm" for the possibility of running out of resources to occur. It's a normal possibility in Power Grid games. Even if it doesn't actually happen in most games, the threat that it could happen is a significant factor in most games.

Quote:
2) Whenever a resource track is depleted, those with power plants requiring those resources are eliminated.


I guess I don't get it. The rest of us can just buy up all of the coal and then you're out of the game, even if you're way ahead on money (especially after we overspent on all that coal) and could just switch to some different technology? How's that supposed to make the game better?
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Billy McBoatface
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DaviddesJ wrote:
I guess I don't get it. The rest of us can just buy up all of the coal and then you're out of the game, even if you're way ahead on money (especially after we overspent on all that coal) and could just switch to some different technology? How's that supposed to make the game better?
I think the point is that if you buy Don's coal, you are *BOTH* out of the game since you both have coal plants. So you will never, ever, ever screw somebody out of resources.

I think this is terrible. The threat of loss of resources forces people to diversify their plants. Making it so painful to eat somebody's last resource will remove this threat and make the game duller. When I've seen somebody get screwed because they had no resources, it was because they were careless; they could have diversified their plants, they could have spent their money on extra resources the turn before, they could have hung back in their substation building to get into the fuel market first - but they did none of these things, so they got screwed and were out of contention to win. That's how it should have been (even when it was me who got screwed, that is how it should have been ).
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David desJardins
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wmshub wrote:
I think the point is that if you buy Don's coal, you are *BOTH* out of the game since you both have coal plants.


OK, then it's even sillier. You're saying that if coal sells out two turns from the end of the game, and I have the obsolete #8 plant still sitting around, then I'm eliminated even if I have two high-capacity plants with plenty of fuel and I also have plenty of money?

Meanwhile, the guy who bought up the last of the coal on his hybrid plant is fine, right?
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Blorb Plorbst
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I've played this game a lot and have been screwed over by resource depletion.

Instead of changing the game, challenge yourself and players to predict the condition and position yourself not to be trapped by it (either by buying a different PP tech or by under building to position yourself for an earlier resource buy next round) -- OR be the person who monopolies the resources before others can.

It takes more thought and planning but that's what I really like about this game.

Also David is correct that, when played this way, the threat of it happening is more pervasive than it actually happening.

I think another corrective measure to the phenomenon is that the people with the ability to store a lot of a resource (say, coal) are running plants that require 3 coal. Paying top tier prices for 6 coal will often guarantee that they won't have the cash to end the game that round and win. So it's frequently in their best interest not to do this because the upshot is that they end up allowing someone else to win. Try to point this out to them also -- people don't often realize it. If they can monopoly the coal and still win? Well, kudos to them, they probably could have won w/out the monopoly.
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Eric Brosius
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I have won a game when a fuel needed to power one of my 6-capacity plants was taken by the other players. I believe I discarded the #32 coal plant to buy a different plant (perhaps even with capacity 5) for which fuel was available.

If your opponents go too far out of their way to do this to you, such a plan can work. If you make it too easy for them, it won't work, so don't make it too easy.
 
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Fraser
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Eric Brosius wrote:
I have won a game when a fuel needed to power one of my 6-capacity plants was taken by the other players. I believe I discarded the #32 coal plant to buy a different plant (perhaps even with capacity 5) for which fuel was available.

If your opponents go too far out of their way to do this to you, such a plan can work. If you make it too easy for them, it won't work, so don't make it too easy.


There are two different ways that I have employed to combat a resource deficiency that was impacting me or was likely to impact me.

In one game the resources were either running out or so expensive that I replaced an end-game plant (5 city plant) with a 5 city plant of different resource.

In another game I could see that resources were going to be depleted so for the last four or five turns I didn't fire that plant at all. I just kept the required resources on it for use in the last turn of the game. Yes I lost income on the way, but that was balanced by the fact that if I fired the plant I expected to be not able to buy resources for it.
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Chad Lensch
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DaviddesJ wrote:
When I've seen somebody get screwed because they had no resources, it was because they were careless; they could have diversified their plants, they could have spent their money on extra resources the turn before, they could have hung back in their substation building to get into the fuel market first - but they did none of these things, so they got screwed and were out of contention to win. That's how it should have been (even when it was me who got screwed, that is how it should have been :) ).



/thumbs up!

A real life example: what happens to one's IRA's when they owned nothing but bank stocks in the last year. ; ) IT TANKS. What is -wonderful- about the game is that it is a lesson in economics: supply and demand. And in real life as well, there is no such thing as unlimited resources!

I've not seen a game that captures it as simply as Power Grid! HOLLA!

If you need to read more on this issue, there are a bunch of threads talking about this. Check this one out, too, if you'd like:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/22300/should-i-buy-extra...

Chad
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Travis Hall
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First up, I have to agree with the others who have pointed out that depletion of a resource does not necessarily indicate loss for those who use that resource. The especially obvious case is the one in which a player depletes a resource from the market in order to have two turns worth of resources on his plant, and does so in the second-last turn of the game. That player won't be negatively affected by the shortage at all.

But moving on from that now...
powereef wrote:
2) Whenever a resource track is depleted, those with power plants requiring those resources are eliminated.

Don, it seems to me that what you are trying to achieve is to allow those whom you perceive as having been eliminated to not bother playing out the game. Especially given that this will generally occur very late in the game, perhaps those players could simply approach the game with a bit more maturity, acknowledge that they agreed to play out the entire game when they started, and play the last turn or two? Maybe even see what they can do about improving their position with good play in that time? Maybe set about learning to do it better for next time?

I'm not sure I'd want to invite back someone who wouldn't play out the game with good grace despite not doing well at the end.

powereef wrote:
It causes a secondary awareness of what to look for and how to plan your game long in advance

It is the lack of such awareness that gets players into a bad spot here in the first place. Knowing how dangerous it can be to your real chances, do you really think writing elimination into the rules increases awareness? If you really do think some people would be helped by having this stated more plainly, why not just write some strategy notes and hand them to the players who need them?
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Don Crowe
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Good comments. A great game attracts a lot of attention !

Learned a lot and the fact that many times it is recoverable. The
group in this site has plenty of gameplay to back it up.

Of course it is the player's mistake to get screwed, Including me (or especially me). No problem there. And the tension of watching for this amongst the other elements of the game is a thing of beauty also.
The question was what happens after that stage. But if not an automatic defeat and remedies can be there, in many circumstances, yes it does not therefore mean endgame so shouldn't be a rule. I agree.
I guess it seemed pretty final to me.

Also : Maybe I need to be the one doing it once in a while !

Thanks for the feedback.
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